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Chamber Ag Luncheon returns after pandemic hiatus
Chamber Ag Luncheon 1
The Chamber Ag Luncheon gave out scholarships to 14 local high school students on Tuesday who plan to pursue a college education in agriculture (Photo contributed).

The Turlock Chamber of Commerce Agriculture Scholarship Committee hosted the 22nd Annual Scholarship Luncheon on Tuesday, after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic. The event has grown from raising just $5,000 in scholarship funds during its first year to now more than quadrupling that number annually.

Students are qualified to receive the scholarship once they enroll in classes at a California college. The student must be looking to pursue a career in agriculture and once they are enrolled in classes, they present their transcripts to the Chamber of Commerce to receive the funds.

In total, three students from Turlock High School, one from Pitman High School, three from Hilmar High School, three from Hughson High School, four from Livingston High School, two from Delhi High School and three from Waterford High School received scholarships this year.

“Growing up I have always had a passion for agriculture,” said Turlock High senior Cameron Crutcher. “I want to help other kids pursue ag as well because I had so many great teachers that helped me pursue it. This scholarship will help me become an ag teacher.”

In addition, Morgan Oliveria and Daniel Rocha of Hilmar High School were presented with the annual Jim Booth Memorial Scholarship in the amount of $2,500 each. The memorial scholarship was created after Booth, a founding member of the Ag Committee, passed away in May 2015. The award recipients are chosen by Booth’s family, who select students who exemplify attributes that were most important to the scholarship’s namesake — leadership, teamwork, follow through, self-confidence, honesty and integrity.

“When I first started ag classes I was so scared about who I would meet, who I would hang out with or the relationships I would make along the way,” said Oliveria. “Now, standing here in front of all of you, I get to see the community of support I have been able to foster in the past four years in this FFA program.”

The Turlock Chamber Ag Scholarship Luncheon is Presented by Garton Tractor with the following sponsors: American Ag Credit and the Mary Stuart Rogers Foundation (platinum sponsor), Yosemite Farm Credit (gold sponsor), Ackerman Dairy, Ag Production Co, Hilmar Cheese Company, smith Chevrolet of Turlock, Turlock Walnut Company, Roy A Johnson Farms, Wilkey Industries, White Crane Ranch (silver sponsors), AgiS Capital, California State university Stanislaus, Del Rio Nut Company, F&M Bank, JKB Energy, JS West Milling Co, KCOE ISOM, Lander Veterinary Clinic, Muller Berry Farms, Oak Valley Community Bank and Pine Creek Nutrition Services, SaveMart supermarkets and Western Valley Insurance (bronze sponsor).


2022 Ag Scholarship Winners:


Elena Arguello, Turlock High School


Cameron Crutcher, Turlock High School


Madi Mendes, Turlock High School


Ignacio Vasquez, Turlock High School


Taylor Vannest, Pitman High School


Morgan Oliveria, Hilmar High School


Conner Pires, Hilmar High School


Daniel Rocha, Hilmar High School


Olivia Collins, Hughson High School


Kirsten Larson, Hughson High School


Cole West, Hughson High School


Jenna Bates, Waterford High School


Griscelda Figueroa, Waterford High School


Ashlyn Machado, Waterford High School


Alondra Aquino, Livingston High School


John Martinez, Livingston High School


Gabriela Torres, Livingston High School


Fred Velasquez, Livingston High School


Thomas Guzman, Delhi High School


Izabella Ybarra, Delhi High School